Rain! Our crops are saved!
Today we saw our first rain. There were dark scattered clouds at sunlight and at 0748 a strong wind blew throwing dust into the air. Then for five minutes it sprinkled almost enough to cover the ground. Allot of us stood out in it. It was brief but pretty. Then it cleared and a dusty haze has settled. It felt more noticeably humid too.
My section has grown. We picked up an E-6 from one of the ware house operations and a Lieutenant from the Marine Corps. He’s an Infantry Officer on his second tour. We are the only operation that is 24/7 on the Depot and the most multi serviced, hence the most multi cultural. There are different cultures within the Military. Our specialties range from two Air Force MP’s, a Marine Infantryman, an Army Infantryman (myself), two Finance guy’s and three Supply Guy’s. We hail from Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, South Carolina, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Georgia, Alabama, and myself the Western North Carolina Hill Billy. We’ve pulled together tighter, we’re getting along a little better. We might as well, this is Iraq and we’re “stuck like Chuck”.
Of course everything is not all gravy. We have some room for improvement. Some of my guy’s need to be a little more involved, there is some better potential inside everyone.
That reminds me. I’m going to have to give a lecture to them. Someone logged onto the “Adam and Eve” web site on our Office Computer. That site is a little border line for a Government Computer. I wonder what they ordered.
The Land of Nod
There were upper level clouds all day today. It’s cooler, with highs in the mid 90’s. The ground is wet in places in the mornings. The water comes up from the ground. Remember, from the book of Genesis, the Lord replenished the Earth from the ground up until he had Noah build the Ark. I think of that when I see it. I debate in my mind if this was the Garden of Eden. Throw stones at me, but, I feel like Eden was west of here. The wet clay sticks to everything and doesn’t dry out until evening. Then it starts all over again. Twenty feet away it will be dry and dusty. A sage of sorts grows everywhere in clumps and bushes called Terpa’s about head high are scattered about. They are both pale green.
It’s not easy being a Nerd
I about got mad. About, mind you. My camcorder was all out of focus. I would zoom and it would be blurry. Finally I read the instructions and come to find out the manual focus was off. I carry it around and more than likely when I was visiting a guard tower or something it got bumped on when other things were bumped and it got all messed up. Anyhow, I discovered it was out of focus while trying to get some white crane like birds flocking just out side of our parameter. I was out getting wooden ammo crates to put up in the towers. Some Jundi’s aren’t as tall as others and a step would help if they had to return fire. I got cases that had once contained 90mm Smoke Rounds made in Brazil. I knew they had a decent fire arms industry, it makes sense. I wonder if the Iraqis had 90mm Recoilless Rifles.
Come to mention the 90’…
The 90mm Recoilless Rifle was one great implementation. It was a simple design. You could take some flichette rounds and clear out some jungle, rooms (if shot from the outside), or an avenue of approach. It held well against armor with HE. Back in the day when I was in the 75th, we were the only ones left using it. Why not? It was one fine weapon. But the Army decided it had to go. Ammo wasn’t available. We should have swallowed our pride and bought it from the Brazilians.
I’m sure it’s not too late. I’m sure within the depths of Anniston Army Depot the 90’ can still be found. If something as simple as an RPG can cause such a stir, then why not the equally as simple Recoilless Rifle? Fighting economically is fighting smarter.
This post has been put together on Word over several days. As I write this we are in Communications Blackout. I’m yet to learn exactly why. When I first got here in June we were in Blackout twice a month. It’s now coming twice a week. I’m behind on mailing folks. I can use the office computer to check my mail, but eight of us use that computer and the Iraqi’s have been cutting the generator at certain times…some earlier than others…in a vain attempt to conserve fuel. I find myself responding to who ever is on top of my list. You know who you are, I’m sorry I haven’t gotten a note off to you.
Do you want a little taste of my day?
Today I had to juggle Escort, Personal Security Detail (PSD) NCOIC duties and Advising. I pulled PSD for the Commander of Anniston Army Depot (I wrote the 90 part before I did the PSD, which was on short notice) I have a mind to ask him about the 90’when I do it again tomorrow, Insalla. At the same location where I did the PSD, along with one of my guy’s from Birmingham Alabama…not to leave anyone out…We have two Jundis guarding Barracks so another Iraqi unit won’t move into them. One, a likable, straight forward, hard working Jundi, saw me and came to me. “Mishkala”…Problem. Neither of these guy’s had water. I relayed it to one of the trusted Warrant Officers…Without an interpreter. “No problem”. Later after taking up some slack on escort I went back to see if the two had water. “Maku”…A negative answer. So, I had an interpreter tell another Warrant Officer…”OK”. So, later as I waited to do PSD for the Colonel and DA Civilians for an hour and a half before they e-mailed my Commander that they weren’t coming (it was a communications mixup, the Col. apologised), the two Jundis didn’t have water still. Finally a UAZ Jeep pulled in just before dark. It’s Ramadan. They weren’t going to give them water until dark because of Ramadan. They use water to wipe their ass; these kids couldn’t even wipe their ass. They were going to make them obey Ramadan.
The guy from Birmingham borrowed some water off of a civilian contractor. It read on the label…”healthy water treated with ozone”. I love this country.
The haze is going to interfere with Night Vision tonight. This is the weather where someone could try to break into the Depot. My stuff is close.
Last note, the Blackout lasted five days.